(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a modestly higher open on the Wall Street ahead of the start of earnings season even as global growth worries weighed on the sentiment.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures added 27 points to 13,528. The Nasdaq futures inched up 1.50 points to 2,779. Standard and Poor's 500 futures rose 3.50 points to 1,453.30.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut global growth forecasts to 3.3 percent in 2012 from 3.5 percent and 3.6 percent from 3.9 percent for next year. The IMF estimates come a day after the World Bank cut its growth estimate for China to 7.7 percent this year from a earlier estimate of 8.2 percent.
In European news, finance ministers from the euro zone officially launched the 500 billion-euro ($649 billion) European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout fund. Concerns linger as to whether Spain will seek a bailout package after Prime Minister Mariyano Rajoy had dismissed rumors of a financial rescue in the near term.
Meanwhile, bellwether Alcoa (NYSE:AA) reports its quarterly earnings after the market closes, with the aluminum giant expected to post a drop in earnings and sales.
On Monday, U.S. stocks closed in red as investors eyed a key meeting of the finance ministers of the eurozone and the third-quarter earnings season.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: AA, EW, OC, SPB, ANGO, SCSC, ISIL, OXM, DEST
In corporate news, Edward Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE:EW) plunged 14.91 percent in premarket after the company slashed its third-quarter sales outlook, citing lower-than-expected transcatheter heart valve sales.
Owens Corning (NYSE:OC) tumbled 8.69 percent in premarket after the company cut its EBIT forecast for 2012, citing weaker near-term environment for its Roofing and Composites businesses.
Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. (NYSE:SPB) jumped 9.94 percent in premarket after the consumer products company agreed to acquire Stanley Black & Decker Inc.'s (NYSE:SWK) Hardware & Home Improvement Group (HHI) for $1.4 billion in cash.
AngioDynamics Inc. (NASDAQ:ANGO) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, but the helped by diagnostic devices maker guided 2013 profit that trailed expectations. Shares retreated 6.24 percent in premarket.
ScanSource Inc. (NASDAQ:SCSC) lowered its sales forecast for the first quarter, trailing market expectations. It sees quarterly sales of $730 million to $740 million, down from prior view of $740 million to $760 million.
Intersil Corp. (NASDAQ:ISIL) shed 2.05 percent in premarket after the developer of integrated circuits announced third-quarter preliminary revenue that were lower than forecast amid weakness in the worldwide Personal Computing business.
Oxford Industries (NYSE:OXM) said CEO Hicks Lanier plans to retire as of December 31, 2012. The company named President Thomas Chubb as its new chief executive.
Destination Maternity Corp. (NASDAQ:DEST) forecasts earnings for the fourth quarter to exceed the top end of its guidance and to "significantly exceed" last year levels.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX down 0.35 percent to trade at 7,265.40. France's CAC40 gained 0.21 percent to trade at 3,413.58. U.K.'s FTSE 100 dropped 0.21 percent to trade at 5,829.26.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index jumped 1.97 percent to end at 2,115.23 Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 1.06 percent to finish at 8.769.59. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.54 percent to close at 20,937.28. India's BSE Sensex finished at 18,793.36, up 0.45 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures rose 0.79 percent to $90.04 per barrel. Gold futures inched 0.06 percent higher to $1,776.8 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro fell 0.11 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2954. The British pound added 0.08 percent against the greenback to 1.6038, while the dollar slid 0.09 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.2600.